a white piece of MDF furniture with rounded inner corners

We have reached the step of rounding the inner corners of our MDF nightstand boxes. Usually, the inner corners are not fully visible if the furniture has drawers installed. It would be enough to round the first few centimeters, to get a uniform front edge. But, if the bottom drawer is missing the solution with the first centimeters is no longer a good one. An example is an old project, a bathroom cabinet for the washbasin. The bottom drawer is missing, and that area looks very well due to the rounded inner corners.

For our nightstands, even if we used drawers at the bottom, we rounded the entire inner corners.

This method is part of a nightstand “how to” video. You can find it on our YouTube channel:

How to round inner corners of an MDF piece of furniture

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Using our nightstand box from the step where we have already glued the additional strip and we drew the semicircles, in order to round the corners, we used:

  • a chisel and a hammer
  • a narrow belt sander
  • a piece of round rod as sandpaper holder
we draw the inner and the outer round corners of the mid century floating nightstands
The inner and the outer corner drawings

1. The first thing we did was to remove as much material as possible out of the added strip, taking care not to cut too much (not to exceed the drawn circle).

We positioned the chisel on the edge of the strip, in an upright position, and I tapped lightly with the hammer to remove thin bands of MDF. To make sure we wouldn’t cut too much material, we only cut the first half of the added strip. We didn’t continue any longer, because of the chisel handle. We couldn’t position the chisel vertically. The blade would have been tilted towards the inside of the corner and we would have cut too much.

we cut the excess out of the added strip with a chisel
Cutting the excess with a chisel

2. We turned the box over and we did the same thing with the second half.

we turned over the MDF box and cut the excess out of the other half of the added strip
Cutting the other half

3. We used the narrow belt sander to round as much as possible. It is not the best sander (it is a no-name one), but it is extremely useful for the hard to sand areas. The roller at the end of the sander belt had a radius slightly smaller than the the one we wanted to get. So, we had to be careful not to sand too much and to follow constantly the drawn semicircles.

For this step, we used a shop vacuum (Karcher WD 3) to quickly remove the dust resulting while sanding.

we rounded the inner corners with the narrow belt sander
Rounding the inner corners

4. At the end we used a piece of round rod (35 mm in diameter) as sandpaper holder to evenly sand the inner corner along its entire length. This step takes time. We first used 80 grit sandpaper to reduce the sanding time, then we continued with 120 grit sandpaper to get a smoother surface.

we sanded the inner corner of the corners using a piece of round rod as a support for the sandpaper
Sanding the inner corner of the nightstand

If small unevenness appear, the edges break, or too much material is sanded, we can correct them with wood putty, but only after properly removing all the MDF dust. After the putty dries, the surface has to be sanded again with 120 grit sandpaper (using the same round piece of wood as support).

After painting the nightstands, the rounded corner looks uniform, making our piece of furniture look seamless.

a white piece of MDF furniture with rounded inner corners
The rounded inner corner

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